Right Now - The World Needs Art - External Relations
Right Now - The World Needs Art
March 30, 2020
VINCENNES, Ind. – A global pandemic isn’t keeping Vincennes
University students and professor Arthur Fields from creating art.
They are keeping their art flowing in the age of the coronavirus, and
VU’s community is encouraging everyone to create art.
We need art now
more than ever.
“It gives us a creative escape,” Fields said. “People don’t realize
how the humanities and art calms people down. It gets people thinking
about things that aren’t so serious. You do have a lot of people who
are making art that change lives and are really about important
issues. But it allows you to think freely and think outside the box.”
Art is everywhere in our daily lives. It makes life more enjoyable,
relieves stress, and promotes creativity. It can take us to a
different space and help shape our ideas.
“I believe that art can be so powerful and so inspirational,” said VU
sophomore art major Halie Riffett of Valparaiso, Ind.
“That if we show people there is more than isolation, it could change
everything. It's amazing what a little bit of color can do.”
Fields, an assistant professor and director of the Shircliff Gallery
of Art located on VU’s main campus, is emboldening his photography
students to use their skills as a distraction in our current world.
“I told them to make interesting images and to shoot what they know,”
he said. “Some of the projects are going to be fun and a diversion of
getting away from the news, TV, and those other screens. They get to
go outside or shoot inside, however they feel safe. I told them to use
it as an escape to get away from reality when necessary.”
Photographs courtesy of Arthur Fields
Romance of the Land, #midwest #landscape #scenicview
Despite the current
upheaval, Fields is maintaining his practice of shooting photographs daily.
“I collect images,” he said. “Every day, I shoot something no matter what.
“A lot of my work deals with everyday life…landscapes, the scene,
community, the houses, and the culture. I photograph throughout
Vincennes, Knox County, Southwest Indiana, and Illinois, and I
photograph my surroundings. Most of my work deals with everyday situations.”
“I tell my students it doesn’t matter what camera you use,” he said.
“Just as long as you know how to use whatever camera you have, and the
best camera is the camera that you have on you at all times.”
A native of Texas, Fields got his first camera at age six. It was
natural for him to get one. His mother is a photographer.
“I’ve always done it (photography), but I didn’t think I could make a
living doing it,” he said. “It was just for fun.”
Romance of the Land, #acrossthestreet #whitehouse #seasons
images of his adopted town everyday. His latest work, My First
City, is a selection of the ordinary scenes of Vincennes, Indiana
through the eyes of a collector. Acting as both curator as well as
image-maker, his latest work consists of grids of images, sorted using
hashtags, [identity markers] that represent a modern take on the
"genre painting" as it relates to his personal Vincennes
experience. He is concerned with choosing, organizing, editing, and
remixing, to better understand the collective cultural experience of
Indiana's first city.
Fields began his college career as an English major. He later became
a corporate trainer for a restaurant chain. He also conducted graphic
design training for a major accounting firm. Never abandoning his love
of photography, he went back to school to pursue an undergraduate
degree and earned a Master of Fine Arts. Fields describes himself as a
conceptual photographer, who wasn't interested in a career in
commercial photography. He chose to become an educator to maintain
“All of my family are teachers, so teaching came naturally,” he said.
“Training, development, and teaching people came natural to me. You
have to figure out what you’re good at and follow your heart.”
Exhibit - Installation shots of the Connections exhibition at
Shircliff Gallery of Art
passionate about art and artists.
He says there are ways to support artists who are impacted by the
COVID-19 crisis. Fields suggests people purchase art from artists. If
that is not possible, he says support them any way you can, such as
promoting them on websites or encouraging others to buy their art or
bartering for various services.
“Reach out to artists and find out what they need,” he said.
Artists have always turned to their creative practice when faced with
social change and upheaval.
Individuals can benefit from art on both physiological and
psychological levels. With art as a form of expression and release,
instances of depression and stress are significantly reduced.
The VU Art and Design Department kicks off its community art’s
activities by encouraging members of the Vincennes community to unite
and share their artistic response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We want to
see creative images that celebrate our community!
Present whatever art making process you enjoy, share your talent and
passion by submitting to this community showcase. Use the hashtag
#VUartcommunity_live to be featured in our Instagram feed.
Art courtesy of Halie Riffett
VU students are
encouraged to share their art via social media using the hashtag
#VUsmart (VU Students Making Art). Fields plans to post their
creations on social media.
“We want to motivate and promote art making in everyday life,” Fields said.
VINCENNES UNIVERSITY - Indiana’s First College
VU is state-supported with campuses in Vincennes and Jasper, the
Aviation Technology Center and American Sign Language program in
Indianapolis, Early College Career and Technical Education Centers,
and additional sites such as the Gene Haas Training and Education
Center in Lebanon, the Logistics Training and Education Center in
Plainfield, and the Gibson County Center for Advanced Manufacturing
and Logistics in Fort Branch. VU offers online degrees and classes to
students who need access to college courses and flexibility through
its Distance Education.
A leader in dual credit and career and technical education statewide,
VU also offers instruction at military sites throughout the nation.
In addition to offering a wide range of associate degree and
certificate programs, VU also offers bachelor’s degree programs in
technology, homeland security, nursing, secondary education programs
in mathematics and science, and special education/elementary education.
VU enrolls students from throughout Indiana, 36 other states, and 21
other countries. Tuition and fees are the lowest among Indiana
campuses with residence halls. VU is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Founded in 1801, VU is Indiana’s first college and is the only
college in the nation founded by an individual who would later become
President of the United States. William Henry Harrison, the ninth U.S.
President, founded VU while serving as governor of the Indiana
Territory. More information is available at www.vinu.edu.